Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthdays and weeks! - email from March 19, 2012

Hello parents!! Hope this week was amazing for you both! Happy Birthdays to you both as well! Kinda hard from so far away to really be able to wish you both happy birthdays this month...but hey! At least you get it in an email! ;)

So this week was pretty intense! We had to work really hard, and meet a lot of new people. The investigators we have had, unfortunately, aren´t progressing. They just don´t seem to have the desire they did when we first met them. It´s frustrating, really, because I want them to feel what I feel so bad, but they can´t feel the spirit in their lives if they don´t invite it. Oh well, that´s all I can do, just keep inviting! As long as I´m doing my job, they will have the opportunity to choose between accepting the gospel, or not!

We are having more investigators attend church! I was really suprised to see an older lady there yesterday. We´ve taught her one time, and she´s really firmly a catholic, but she came! She seemed to really like it too. She´s about 75 years old...so we´ll see how she progresses! The really bright spot in my life right now is the family Guerrero Aleman. I´m really hoping and praying that we´ll be able to see them baptised. Pedro is a lawyer, super intelligent, and has a lot of faith in God and in the importance of families. His wife Edy is also really great! They have a 13 year old son as well who seems interested. Anyway, we´ve taught them 3 times now, and they have been saying prayers as a family every night, and Pedro is reading the Book of Mormon! He´s already had a lot of experiences where the spirit has witnessed to him that what we teach is true.

One of the experiences he told us about I thought was pretty cool! A few days after beginning to pray as a family, his coworker asked what he had been doing, because there was a light in his eyes! He said he knew it was something that he was doing with us missionaries. He´s also begun sharing the gospel message at work! He said he´s got a few coworkers that he´s talked to about our church, and he´s even cleared up some false rumors about us. This Tuesday we´re going to meet his dad! His mother died a few years back, and Pedro told us specifically that his father could use the message of the plan of salvation in his life. I´m really just so thankful for how God has prepared him, and I am really hoping that Pedro can continue to advance and become a leader in the church. We´re hoping to set a baptismal date with them for next Sunday, but we´ll see what happens.

The branch here is continuing to be a challenge. We are trying to organize a talent show, but it just isn´t working out. We talked about it two weeks ago in a leadership meeting, but no one did anything about it. We didn´t have a meeting last week, and then yesterday when we asked people if they would be willing to prepare an act for the show, all the leaders said it was too soon and we should have said something earlier. Not going to lie, I was a bit frustrated! I think they just honestly don´t know. Some of them don´t want to do anything more than what they are doing, which is a missionary devotional every thursday night where the four missionaries are in charge of a message and games. They honestly just don´t want to put in the effort. I have a feeling I´ll see this for the rest of my life. ;)

However, I´m learning a lot about the Atonement and how it can get members going. In Preach My Gospel it says that when members of the church really understand the effects of the Atonement, they will be more willing, and will be animated to share the gospel with others. So basically we, as members, can measure if we understand the gospel, the Atonement, by how much desire we feel to share the gospel with others in our lives. How much desire we feel to help other members, or even our neighbors.

I´m trying to apply that to this ward. This last Sunday I gave another talk, and my topic was supposed to be about missionary work. Well, I kinda twisted it a little and talked about the Atonement. ;) When I was writing it, I could feel the spirit guiding me. I first talked about the fall of Adam and Eve, and how we have two consequences: Spiritual and Physical Death. Then I talked about 4 things that the Atonement does for us:

1. Conquers physical death
2. Pays for our sins
3. Comforts us in times of need
4. Makes it possible for us to return to live with Heavenly Father

I think it went really well. When I looked at the branch members, most of them were actually paying attention!! Better than that, Pedro Guerrero was soaking up practically every word! I had written it under the influence of the spirit, and when I gave the talk, I could feel Heavenly Father helping me too. I didn´t need to look at the paper most of the time, and my Spanish was just perfectly understandable. :) I think they really understood what the Atonement does for us. I also talked about how we accept the sacrifice of our Saviour by having faith in him, repenting, being baptized, and enduring to the end. The Gospel!

I really hope that they can take some of that message to heart, and hopefully it will do some good for them!

So I also have to tell you about yesterday afternoon...and how your prayers really are blessing me. We had a great lunch of chicken, rice, potatoes, a sauce that I love, and an olive. It all tasted wonderful! However, the effects weren´t that great. I´m gonna guess it was food poisining. Anyway, about two hours after lunch, we were in a lesson with a less active when my companion had to run to the bathroom. I heard him throw up twice, so we left to our room.

When we got to the room, he ran to the bathroom again. About 10 seconds later, Elder McDonough and Elder Yupa walked in, both of them throwing up too! Honestly, I have never seen so much come out of a single person. All three of them just let EVERYTHING out. More than I thought possible! We were in our room from about 5 to 10 with one of them in the bathroom, the other at the sink, and the third waiting for his turn. It was not the best night. I had to just sit there, and pray. I gave Elder Yupa a blessing too, he was by far the worse off.

Anyway, I have to go, but THANK you for your prayers. I know it was because of you that I turned out to be perfectly fine when three other elders were puking all night long.

I love you all so much! Keep the letters coming!

Elder Schofield

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